The Relationship Between Same-Day Access and Continuity in Primary Care and Emergency Department Visits

Published in: PLOS ONE, v. 10, no. 9, e0135274, Sep. 2015, p. 1-12

Posted on RAND.org on October 29, 2015

by Jean Yoon, Kristina M. Cordasco, Adam Chow, Lisa V. Rubenstein

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We examined how emergency department (ED) visits for potentially preventable, mental health, and other diagnoses were related to same-day access and provider continuity in primary care using administrative data from 71,296 patients in 22 VHA clinics over a three-year period. ED visits were categorized as non-emergent; primary care treatable; preventable; not preventable; or mental health-related. We conducted multi-level regression models adjusted for patient and clinic factors. More same-day access significantly predicted fewer non-emergent and primary care treatable ED visits while continuity was not significantly related to any type of ED visit. Neither measure was related to ED visits for mental health problems.

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